I am laying on my stretcher bed a visitor in my home town, enjoying the temperate late summer days in Victoria, a refugee from the tropical north.
Bliss to my heart, peace in my mind.
One week earlier I was barricaded in a house that had been broken into multiple times over the past month, in a place that had once been quite pleasant. In social freefall now. I lament my sisters and brothers who have passed and mentors no longer present.
Maybe one day I’ll write my experiences and thoughts on the subject, but for now I know it will do no good. I must sit with the loss and the anguish of life in the momentary peace, the eye of a perfect storm!
The first thing I notice as I step off the plane is the lack of moisture in the air, the coolness on my skin and the faint smell of dry grass and eucalyptus!
My body somehow shifts itself into a different way of being. Alert but familiar. If I travelled in thongs I kick them off and stand with naked feet on the rough bark of a garden bed outside the terminal… If I have my boots on usually I wait.
Arriving at my parents place I quickly see which plants are in flower and what insects are attracted to their blooms. Hover flies, bees? If I’m lucky, the elusive blue banded bees that sometimes show up.
I check the vegie garden. This year they have corn!
I feel the bark of the trees and smell the rosemary, the lavender and rose petals… I find the gum tree and crack leaves in my hands releasing the potent oil within. My hear sighs. It is home. These I feel beyond sight or scent alone. Beyond the sound of magpies and minahs or crickets and cicadas. Something more. I walk mostly barefoot around the yard. Longing for the dry clay earth and blue green leaves of dry sclerophyll woodlands a few miles from town. Harsh but not. Home to tiger snakes and blue tongued lizards.
It’s been one week now. I have crammed as much in ad I could take and still it’s not enough.
I’ve breathed it walked it, felt it on my skin. I’ve picked and eaten forrage from the trees and parks. Delighted in gentle golden weeds.
I feel a deep compulsion to leave the world in the north. To walk away from the responsibilities of my adopted home and family. From constant dying. To retreat and save myself before I see the husk of my being unfolded like wet paper crane under a steel capped boot, incapable of returning to whole.